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HHS Warns of New Ransomware Strain

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is warning about a new strain of ransomware affecting the health care sector.

Petya ransomware, part of the GoldenEye ransomware family, spread through an auto-update to MeDocs, Ukrainian accounting software. This strain is unique because the virus is capable of self-replication.

To respond to this threat, the National Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center has tested a “vaccine file” or killswitch to prevent the infection from spreading. In addition, HHS encourages users to install the latest Microsoft security patches, use a reliable antivirus program, subscribe to the Critical Infrastructure Program email newsletter, and follow the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) for updates.

Meanwhile, HHS directs victims of a ransomware attack to:

America’s Essential Hospitals has established a resource page dedicated to cybersecurity threats. Visit this page regularly for new and updated information.

Contact Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.


About the Author

Emily Schweich is a communications manager at America's Essential Hospitals.

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